Combing low over most of the shiny white glaciers on the shore of Greenland in an altered 1940s aircraft, three NASA researchers, guided by an Elvis-impersonating oceanographer, were waiting to drop a sample into the ground beneath them.
They are component of Oceans Melting Greenland or OMG a four-summer task that flew around the large island, collecting samples to gather information on how oceans relate to Greenland's fast melting of ice.
Crossing rocky lochs, sparkling glaciers and icebergs, a few dozen meters (feet) high impending out of the water, Clark and the crew took breaks carrying the 1,5-meter cylindrical samples and observing the information displaying the heat and temperature of the ocean.
Willis is researching how hotter levels of water interact with glaciers off the shore and how they melt faster. Willis said many people here think the ice is falling from the atmosphere's temperature increase. It is sort of like an ice cube below a hairdryer, but in fact, the oceans are also eating away from the ice edges.
OMG studies Greenland's winter glaciers, contrasting them with the summer information they collect on the oceans over a 5 years period, which Willis hopes will enable scientists to better forecast rising sea levels.
This island has three areas adjacent to the Arctic Ocean. It is also covered 85% by snow. If this ice sheet was to totally vanish, it would increase the ocean level by 23 feet.